This is the most reliable chocolate cake recipe I know - I've made it so many times and it's never let me down. Not only does it taste delicious but you can practically make it with your eyes closed.
It's an all-in-one approach with no creaming of butter and sugar. The cake batter is runny thanks to being made with corn oil, but this combined with milk and golden syrup results in a moist sponge with a pleasing sticky quality.
The fudge topping is super-glossy so when you slather it onto your cake you can swirl it around with a palette knife, and it looks really rather professional. You could add a layer of raspberry jam in between the two cakes or even some fresh cream to make it really luxurious. That's the beauty of this cake, it's a great basic that can easily become a stunning centrepiece.
I used ready-made white icing rosebuds to give the cake an understated feminine look for Mother's Day, but you could use chocolate shavings, white chocolate buttons or even fresh fruit to give it your own unique finish.
It's also a winner in cupcake form too – bite-size fluffy chocolate sponges with not-too-sickly chocolate fudge icing – ideal for children's parties.
Easy peasy chocolate fudge cake
For the cake
185g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 level tsp baking powder
140g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
140ml corn oil
For the fudge icing
50g cocoa, sifted
225g icing sugar, sifted
About 4 tbsps milk
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 3. Line two 20cm shallow loose-bottomed cake tins.
2. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and then mix in the golden syrup, eggs, corn oil and milk until you have a smooth batter – don't worry it's meant to be very runny.
3. Pour equal amounts into the prepared tins and cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Stick a skewer in and if it comes out clean the cakes are ready. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
4. To make your fudge icing melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat, add the cocoa and cook for around 1 minute. Remove from the heat and then gradually add the icing sugar and milk a little at a time.
Stir thoroughly to combine all the ingredients until you get a smooth glossy consistency. If the icing goes a little dull and stiff before you've had a chance to use it, just perk it up with a little milk to get the glossy finish back again.
5. Use a third of the icing to spread in the middle of the two cakes. Then place the second cake on top and spread over the remaining icing.
Decorate however you like!
Katie Bryson blogs at www.feedingboys.co.uk.